A potential leak from Valve’s Steam helpdesk system has potentially revealed many new titles coming to Steam soon, according to a report from Destructoid; including the legendarily-delayed Half-Life 3.
In fact, Half-Life 3 has become something of an inside joke to the gaming community at this point; Know Your Meme even has an entire page dedicated to “Half-Life 3 Confirmed” as a meme. Since Half-Life 2‘s release in 2004 and Valve’s failure to continue its episodic release, many fans had simply assumed that Valve had given up on the series that made their name in gaming.
It’s a lot harder to dismiss in the wake of the leak, which once again comes courtesy of the NeoGAF Forums. Eagle-eyed user “madjoki” first spotted that Final Fantasy X/X-2, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Dark Souls III, Final Fantasy VI, and Bad Rats Show had popped up as help topics on Steam’s helpdesk site, among others. Further digging by users “lashman” and “Chairmanchuck” turned up further titles; including three different items for Half-Life 3.
Given the sheer volume of titles, it seems a good bet that the information is solid and that this leak is a genuine goof on Valve’s part. It’s easy to explain how it could happen; a program is designed to import Valve’s entire game database into their helpdesk system, and their database currently holds unreleased titles for development purposes. Almost all titles that showed up in the leak included “Beta Testing” and “Developer Comp” options.
As Destructoid notes, leaks like this are never completely reliable; games can cease development for one reason or another and ports may fail to go through or work properly – but they also tend to be accurate more often than not.
Other sites remain skeptical. The Escapist also reported the leaks, but denies that they expect Half-Life 3 to “be released anytime soon (or ever),” referring to Half-Life 3 as “vaporware” (an industry term for a product that is announced but never actually released or cancelled).
It’s worth noting that the Half-Life 3 trademark application is several years old at this point; it was only noticed recently. Valve also filed an EU trademark for the Half-Life symbol in July of 2013, not long before the Half-Life 3 trademark was filed. So perhaps the skepticism is not unjustified. Amateur investigators also turned up two Half-Life 3 teams in Valve’s internal bug-tracking database – heaven only knows how they got access to it – indicating a collective team of more than 50 members. Of course, whether that team is actively working on Half-Life 3 is anyone’s guess.
Whatever the case may be, even if Half-Life 3 isn’t on the horizon, it looks like Steam will be getting some very interesting releases in the near future. If anything, Valve seems to be concentrating their efforts on console ports and remakes; perhaps in order to build up a library to support the Steam Machine and Steam Controller.
Do you think Half-Life 3 is finally on the way? Or is this just another case of wishful thinking?
[Image via Valve]